Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name





Psychology, Social.


Towson, Shelagh M. J.,




The present study examined the effect of priming with individualistic or communalistic values on the decision to hire a Black or White job candidate. The experimental design was a 3 (value priming group) x 2 (applicant qualifications) x 2 (gender of participant) factorial. Introductory psychology students read and responded to an individualistic, a communalistic, or a neutral values survey. Half the participants then read profiles of two equally qualified job candidates, one Black and one White. Unequal qualifications condition participants read profiles of a Black and a relatively better qualified White candidate. Participants then indicated whom they would hire and responded to a survey of symbolic racism. The significant interaction between priming group and candidate qualifications indicated that, contrary to the hypotheses, participants primed with individualistic values were not more likely than participants primed with communalistic values to hire the White candidate in the equal or unequal qualifications conditions. Instead, participants primed with neutral values demonstrated the most extreme preferences, with those in the equal qualifications condition significantly more likely to hire the Black candidate than those in the unequal qualification condition. Chi-square analysis indicated that participants in the equal qualifications condition were equally likely to hire the Black or White candidate; participants in the equal qualifications condition had a strong preference for the White candidate. Implications of these findings for the implementation of employment equity policies are discussed.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1995 .O34. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 34-06, page: 2498. Adviser: Shelagh M. J. Towson. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1995.